Michelle Forbes in Voyager

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Bry_Sinclair, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So over in the realm of DS9 there is discussion on Michelle Forbes passing up the role of First Officer Ro on Deep Space 9, and I've got to thinking about how she was offered the chance to reprise the character as a member of the main cast in VOY. Again, she turned it down and the produces created the character of B'Elanna Torres.

    I'm just wondering what Ro's position onboard might've been, had the actress agreed to it.

    I'd suspect she'd most likely have been the Conn Officer, though seeing as how TNG made a big point of her advanced tactical training, might she have become the new Tactical Officer? I'm a little dubious about her being in charge of Security/Tactical, given that she is branded a terrorist, though it would be an interesting dilemma (can Captain Janeway actually trust her new Security Chief?), or might they have made her the Maquis leader and appointed her Voyager's new First Officer?

    Perhaps her character would've replaced Paris, starting off as the observer before having her commission reinstated and becoming Conn Officer. If she was the Maquis Tactical Officer would Tuvok have been the Chief Engineer or Ops Manager (Kim becomes a lowly junior lieutenant who finds himself taking charge or engineering, or an intern who is the last surviving member of the medical staff)?

    Trying to work out just where she would fit throws up some interesting possibilities.
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My first thought is that if Forbes had signed on she would have been the new Chakotay. Given how VOY fumbled the Native American aspects, perhaps that might have been for the best. If TPTB got grief over a female captain, just imagine how much grief they'd get if both the captain and first officer were women! :p I'd like to think if they'd used Ro she might have done a better job standing up to Janeway's more dubious decisions than Chakotay generally did.

    That said, I don't really have an issue with Chakotay in general, so I'd like to think he would have still been part of the crew in some capacity, though I'm not sure where to put him without displacing someone else.

    If TPTB had wanted to be particularly crazy, they would have given Ro the Seska arc as well, perhaps to the point of having it turn out that she was a Cardassian sleeper agent (which could even raise the possibility of the real Ro showing up again on DS9!).
     
  3. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think that she had been there instead of Chakotay.

    What I've read and heard is that she would have been there instead of B'Elanna Torres.

    When Forbes turned that down, they came up withy the Torres character instead.

    I don't thinkt that those in charge would have dared to have two female characters in charge from the start. Ro would probably have turned out exactly like Torres, being relellious in the beginning and then a more loyal member of the crew.

    Personally I like Ro Laren. I do find her one of the best TNG characters.

    But both when it comes to DS9 and Voyager, I'm happy that things happeed the way they did. We got Kira in DS9 who is one of the best Star Trek characters ever and Torres is brilliant in her own way.

    But I would have liked to see Ro Laren as a recurring character in DS9.

    As for Chakotay, he's my second favorite of Voyager. But the writers did mess him up a bit, especially when it comes to his Native American heritage. They should have gathered some information about a real tribe, let's say the Mayans and used that instead of coming up with a lot of BS.
     
  4. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Science Officer?

    That would've been an interesting direction to go, though I wouldn't have killed her off (or even join the Kazon if I'm honest) but stay onboard and slowly grow to become a grudging ally.
     
  5. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I could see Chakotay as a Science Officer.

    Seska leaving Voyager for the Kazon never made a great deal of sense to me except that once Our Heroes knew she was a Cardassian she didn't really have anywhere else to go.

    If Ro's actually a Cardassian sleeper agent who somehow gets activated during the trip, it makes sense to me that her arc might follow Seska's, though it might be more satisfying if her experiences as Ro led her to realize she could be a part of Team Good Guys if she wanted to be. OTOH, I admit that in Star Trek stories it sometimes bores me when it seems that Our Heroes can find an understanding and/or common ground with almost anyone. Also, if Seven still joined the crew then her own integration with the crew might very much have a feeling of "been there, done that" at this point.
     
  6. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I believe she would replace Neelix as the morale officer
     
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  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    She probably couldn't do a worse job...though it's amusing to think that she could...
     
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  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Ro would have made Voyager better. Whoever she replaced it would have been one of the boring ones.

    I don’t get why Seska saw the Kazon as an exit strategy. She must have known her punishment if caught would just be confinement and from there everything is negotiable if you wait for the right opportunity. That could have been a great storyline.
     
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  9. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    That would never happen! The way the writers handled Janeway, Ro would had to be reduced in character where she would be unrecognizable. Why would Michelle Forbes reduce herself for 7 seasons in a diminishing role like that??? The First officer role was so irrelevant in that series I never saw the reason they had one. Ro was a special character and I can't imagine she would tolerate an omnipotent force like Captain Kathryn Janeway.
     
  10. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can't argue with that.

    I always look at NuBSG and Boomer/Athena as how Seska should've been used: revealed as a Cardassian infiltrator, tries to make some underhanded deals with the Kazon, caught in the process and locked in her quarters, though her various skills and abilities make her a valuable asset to the ship on some of their more hazardous encounters, so they have to rely on her, never trusting her at the beginning but slowly earning it over time--even if they did kill her off at a later date, the chance to see more Martha Hackett would've been brilliant!
     
  11. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would take Ro over Chakotay in a heartbeat. At best he had a handful of 'ok' episodes and that was really it. I'd equally happily take her over Paris or Kim or Kes or Neelix (or Kes and Neelix), though Chakotay would be the easiest and least missed of the bunch, for me.

    But I have to agree it doesn't sound like the idea that she 'obviously' would have replaced one of the more boring characters is at all historically accurate. If Torres was created as an explicit reaction to Forbes saying no, then Forbes saying yes obviously leads to Torres not being created. Since she was one of the best characters on the show and one of the top 10 female characters in the franchise, I wouldn't make that trade. Though, just like on DS9, I would also happily have accepted Ro as an additional crewman, even if that meant she was just a recurring character.
     
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  12. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Trek does seem to have an issue with making really dull human characters, with the likes of Chakotay or Kim being cast feeling more like a diversity tick box exercise.

    Losing Torres would've been a blow for the show as she and Tuvok are my favourites. She could've been kept, though with the Maquis aspect dropped and made a troubled young engineer on her last chance and steps up to take charge of engineering when the previous chief is killed. All of her troubles and inner conflict can pretty much remain intact but she is something of an outsider among the regular Starfleeters, so she could have some sympathy and understanding for the Maquis (especially the AWOL Starfleet members), and could have a new angle for calling into question where her loyalties might lie.
     
  13. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ro in TNG already embodied the foil qualities that they would later have in mind when creating Seven, the kind of character who would challenge those around them including their captains. So if Voyager had that kind of character from the start, and kind of did already in Torres and then didn't use them, it would be a real shame. Something I just thought of but if they were able to come to some arrangement with Michelle Forbes for one guest spot per season or even every couple of seasons, I'd have Ro appear on DS9 as Starfleet officer in Season 2, then Maquis member until the end of Season 5 DS9, have her as the liaison with Chakotay in Voyager "Hunters" and then maybe working with Kira in Season 7, like maybe she's piloting the Bajoran ship Kira's commanding in "Shadows and Symbols". I wonder what it would be like to put her and Tom Riker together.
     
  14. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's a team up I'd like to see!
     
  15. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While I like the Idea of Ro in Voyager, In my mind, She would have not gotten any good scripts and would have been like Kim or Chacotay, Good ideas, but terribly handled, and if they couldn't do Ro Justice, just leave her out. Probably why she bailed on that job, saw the script and character outline for her and was like.. nope! Your not using me to the fullest, so why do it.

    would love to see her in Picard. Maybe as the head of the Rangers? The One?? :)
     
  16. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    WHile I would have loved Ro (especially if that meant we'd be spared Torres and her Klingon stuff) in Voyager the biggest problem is that I feel she would have been reduced to a pale nothing, like most Voyager characters were. I doubt they would have appreciated what a fine actress and character they would have had in her.

    Ro as Janeway's First Officer sounds interesting as a concept, but the way the show was written Ro would have been reduced to "the complainer is always wrong", meaning she would have just been there to disagree with Janeway and then being proven wrong because on Voyager Janeway was always right, not matter how terrible her actions.
    (And no I'm not saying that because she's a female captain. I just think she was terribly written, just like Archer. The reason why the fact that we don't see much of Captain Georgiou makes me so sad is because she was everything I always wanted Janeway/a female Captain to be)
     
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  17. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^That's the thing I'm curious about though. I suspect Chakotay ultimately lost any argument with Janeway in part because TPTB were concerned about the optics of the male Maquis first officer knowing better than the female Starfleet captain. If it was Ro instead, especially given that her personality had already been established in TNG and we'd mostly seen her as a Starfleet officer rather than a Maquis, perhaps there would have been less concern along those lines.
     
  18. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I imagine Ro would have been there in place of B'elanna Torres. They were similar style characters -- both could be lone wolves who were sometimes a little hot-headed and prone to being obstinate.

    I think the writers when creating VOY were looking for a character like that (a little head-butting can be good for story-telling) and Ro Laren would have fit that role well. Since Michelle Forbes declined, I think they invented Torres to have similar traits.
     
  19. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Unlike Ds9, i wouldn't have trusted the Voyager writers to fully use Ro, no real character arch for her to perform.
     
  20. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    Make Ro the lead, make her Captain during the pilot - killing off Janeway - so Michelle Forbes could actually do something in the series.